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Monday, January 28, 2013

WILD WILD WESTfield: Are Crossing Guards Above the Law?

Video
video
     At approximately  7:15 am. this morning, the civilian crossing guard at the offset intersection of Westfield Ave. & Park St./Dorian Rd. continued to enable motorists to violate New Jersey state motor vehicle code by waving them through STOP signs controlling the intersection.
     In the above video posted here at TFoTM, the crossing guard can be seen entering the crosswalk and holding up his hand held STOP sign to northbound and southbound traffic that have the right of way.  Motorists travelling north on Westfield Ave., with the right of way, are being directed by the civilian crossing guard to stop.  All the while there are NO pedestrians/students crossing in any direction, nor are there any waiting to cross or even within the vicinity of the intersection.  The duty of the crossing guard is to safely cross students on their way to and from school.
     Once the civilian crossing guard has waved all the vehicles through the STOP signs, in both eastbound and westbound directions, he exits the crosswalk and heads back to the curb allowing the appropriate authority, the law of Title 39 motor vehicle code to take over.
     Approximately 5 minutes earlier, a vehicle travelling northbound on Westfield Ave. with the right of way was nearly "t-boned" by a vehicle travelling westbound on Park St.. The vehicle "blowing through" the STOP sign was in a line of traffic that had been waved through by the civilian crossing guard as the crossing guard exited the roadway with his back to oncoming northbound traffic.

     As of this date there have been no responses to emails sent to town officials alerting them of this dangerous practice.  Emails sent to Town Administrator Jim Gildea, Mayor Andy Skibitsky, Town Council Safety Committee Chairwoman JoAnn Neylan and Co-Chairman Keith Loughlin, Westfield's Police Chief and Traffic Safety Officer, have not been answered indicating this dangerous practice of civilian crossing guards directing motorists through STOP signs will not stop.
     Absent any state law authorizing civilian crossing guards to direct motorists through STOP signs, who is liable should an accident occur and  who is authorizing and/or allowing this dangerous practice to continue?  Why haven't elected and appointed town officials responded?

13 comments:

  1. it won't be long before the town gets hit with a lawsuit because of these foolish crossing guards. Almost got hit by another car because I didn't see the grossing guard waving cars on and they didn;t stop at their stop sign. He was blocked by all the cars going through the stop sign because he wasn't in the middle of the street. He stood off to the side and was motioning the cars to just go. Reckless to say the least.

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    1. In the video, the crossing guard can be seen standing on the north side of the intersection and he is blocked by the traffic he is waving through the STOP signs in both directions. An unsuspecting motorist traveling northbound would not be able to see the crossing guard when two or more vehicles travelling east and west pass through the intersection simultaneously. Furthermore, as the crossing guard walks towards the curb, the last car he waves through the intersection with his back turned, could easily be followed by another vehicle that saw the guard waving the previous cars through. A vehicle traveling northbound could potentially enter the intersection and be hit by the westbound vehicle.


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  2. Commuter, it is you who sounds like the idiot. Drive with your eyes open and stay alert. You wouldn't have seen the gaurd if it was a policeman. You, are in fact the reckless one. Fact of the Matter, you are just hell-bent on crucifying someone. I wish you all would get lives.

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    1. Not looking to crucify anyone. Only looking for a response from town officials seemingly ignoring a very dangerous issue. Thank you for your comment. The crossing guard is great att doing his job and that is crossing students and not directing traffic.

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    2. Dear Anonymous,

      Its you who should get a life....crawl out from under whatever rock you live under and take a stand.... don't you realize that it isn't about hanging someone out to dry its about preventing a physical and financial disaster that is lingering in the shadows....if the town is ignoring a potential problem that has been brought up in front of them and continues to allow the problem to go on if and when (because its only a matter of time) it does happen the lawsuits that will be filed will be tremendous ...... and lets not forget the injuries and possible loss of life.....from my viewpoint its a very easy and inexpensive fix.....one day you pull all 55 guards sit them down and explain their job to them in detail...upon completion of the of the training each and every one of them signs off that they understand completely their job description so there is no mistaking what they are to do....I don't know if it is still done by the traffic safety division, but years ago they use to ride around and make sure the guards were there and doing their job properly......then should their be an accident the town and the department has minimized its liability levels......but on the flip-side if the town continues to ignore the problem and doesn't do a thing the lawsuits that will follow will hurt the town greatly financially and that means the town will be coming to the taxpayer to foot the bill.....good luck....

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    3. Mr Anonymous,
      No need to resort to name calling but when you have no response I guess that's what you do. If a police officer was there I would see him because they stand in the middle of the intersection and are visible unlike this crossing guard that stands in the crosswalk and off to the side like he is trying to hide the fact that he is not supposed to be doing what he is doing.

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  3. How many Westfield school children crossing Westfield streets on the way to Westfield schools actually reside in Westfield? The BOE has done nothing with regard to complaints of theft of service of Westfield school education by non resident children. When will THAT stop???? A real name with a fake address apparently was not enough. Yet taxes paid to Westfield by Westfield residents covers their cost. And I am NOT referring to the student that recently passed away.

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  4. There is a crossing guard helping adult people crossing the street in the absence of any children. Is this their job? Are they paid to cross the adults and the rest of the time to stay in their car because there are no children to cross the street?

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  5. McErlean should get off his rear end and direct traffic or have Lisa do it. All they do is ride around all morning and afternoon

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  6. I don't know what all the fuss is about crossing guards...fire them all.... after all how many kids even walk to school anymore....the Mayors do more with less doesn't apply to the crossing guards I guess

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  7. The "fuss" is a result of two students being struck in a crosswalk in front of Edison Intermediate School while a crossing guard was crossing the students and directing traffic.

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  8. I have just finished reading the February 7 edition of the Westfield Leader and see that Don Quixote de La Westfield was at it again at a council meeting....when will the windmills learn they are no match for Don Quixote de La Westfield.....when he comes to battle he is armed and ready with all the information that is necessary for him to conquer his adversaries.......

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  9. The "guard" at this intersection is a MENACE, causing daily "near miss" accidents.

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